Macbook Pro or iMAC dont know where to start

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MichaelCory, May 18, 2008.

  1. MichaelCory macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    eastern USA
    #1
    I'm a newbie here...saw the forum and decided to give it shot, the apple forum didnt seem to have a general discussion.

    The title says it all, but let me just give a lil more info...

    I need some help, more with making up my mind... I am freelance video editor and web designer- I have used PC's all my life, and have dabbled on macs, but have never owned one. I currently have a customer built pc with a Pentium 4 2.4ghtz and at the current time Its really sluggish I run Avid for editing and it constantly crashes in the middle of rendering and other tasks. Even running Photoshop can be a sluggish process. I have tried formating and reinstalling programs and there really is no difference I just need a new system. A lot of people in my industry seem to have the the MAC PRO or MACBOOK PRO. I really dont want another tower to be honest. I kind of like the idea of having the MACBOOK pro, but I really dont have any need for being mobile. The only nice thing about it i think is that I would be able to show clients the work I've done by just bringing my macbook pro where ever i go.

    I almost shed out $3,000 +tax for a macbook pro until I saw the new iMacs in the store...I will be purchasing a new system in the next couple of weeks and I need desperatly to figure out what to get.

    I'm really concerned with performace over anything. Im pretty sure both systems could handle the applications I will be using (ADOBE PHOTOSHOP, FLASH, DREAMWEAVER, AVID XPRESS PRO etc) but to me the IMAC seems a little better in performace with the 3.0 ghz duo processor. My question is for what Im going to be using it for, does it matter which system I use? Is one really better than the other? I dont see many designers or editors with an IMAC- is this more for the average consumer?
    So my dilemea is deciding between these two systems

    Macbook PRO
    Specifications

    2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Accessory Kit
    4GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    200GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
    MacBook Pro 17-inch Hi-Resolution LED Widescreen Display
    Backlit Keyboard (English) / User's Guide
    *******************************
    iMac
    Specifications

    3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    4GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS w/512MB GDDR3
    500GB Serial ATA Drive
    Apple Mighty Mouse
    Apple Keyboard (English) + User's Guide
    Accessory kit
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    24-inch glossy widescreen LCD
    AirPort Extreme
    Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR

    2,399.00 for the IMAC and 3,149.00 for the macbook pro...what to do what to do
     
  2. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    #2
    Do you care about screen size, it seems like you would for the work you do on your computer. 17 vs 24 is a pretty big difference. Glossy vs matte is something else to think about. It seems like you may want a matte screen for a more professional color display, but thats up to you.
     
  3. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #3
    Firstly it's MacBook Pro or iMac NOT MACBOOK PRO or IMAC OK.

    Secondly go with the iMac it makes sense as you don't want portability plus it is cheaper & nicer, just get the ram from somewhere else not apple as they charge to much for it.

    Northy
     
  4. MichaelCory thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    eastern USA
    #4
    Screen size is important as I would prefer a larger screen size, not sure about glossy or matte? honestly havent given it much thought...
     
  5. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    #5
    Well, i don't care if you spell mbp in all caps, but sounds like screen size and the less expensive price point may be the better option since you don't need portability. I like my MBP cuz I can take it places and do my work that aren't my desk, but thats just my experience, both are very nice and I doubt you'd be disappointed with either. Hopefully some other people can enlighten you as well. I have had no experience with the new iMacs, just the MBPs.:)
     
  6. carver18 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    well i had the same problem - i'm also a video editor and my pc had big problem rendering stuff...then i had to switch to macs because of Final Cut...and i didn't know which one to choose...the MBP or iMac...I chose the iMac and it was one of the better choices in my life...not only i'm never going back to a PC, but also...life seems much easier now...and regarding your choice...choose the iMac...bigger screen and a bigger hard drive...are 2most important arguments for the imac...
     
  7. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #7
    Get the MacBook Pro.

    You might not want portability right now, but it really is such a damn useful thing to be able to take my Mac anywhere with me.

    And it's powerful too.
     
  8. surferfromuk macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    #8
    I'd say if portability is just not needed at any level then get the iMac - better graphics, more power, cheaper.

    If a 'little' portability is needed buy a Macbook as well - the pair will cost about the same as a fully loaded Macbook Pro 17"
    :p

    (buy your ram from crucial and swap it out yourself)
     
  9. MichaelCory thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    what about the glossy screen vs matte, which is better for design work or is it a question of personal preference...
     
  10. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #10
    Glossy screens aren't good for design work - it doesn't replicate the true colour you'll end up with (i.e. if you are a photographer or video editor). It does trick the eye into thinking the image is sharper, so it looks nice.

    I use matte however.
     
  11. happylau macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #11
    matte

    I'd definitely go with the matte if you want more "real" colors, that's what all the designing people say.
    I personaly have the matte and really love it, plus it doesn't tire my eyes. I usually spend long hours in front of it so that's a great plus for me.
     
  12. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    #12
    Matte is the more accurate way to go. I brought it up originally because of the work you mentioned doing on your computer. The problem is iMac's aren't offered in matte, only glossy, so if you care about that option, you have to get the MBP. btw, that's not a bad thing to have to get a 17" hi-res mbp.
    Side note: MBP 17" are quite large and considered way less portable than most laptops. So that may be great for you since you don't lug yours around like I have to at school (hence the reason i got the 15.4"). But if you would like to take it with you to show a client some work, that would work great for you. Hard drive space is great, but you can buy a backup, the Time Capsule is an awesome choice for its price, size, and wireless capabilities. Hope this helps.
     
  13. motoxpress macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    #13
    If you are using Avid, then you need to go with the MBP as Avid doesn't even support the iMac. Also, which version of Xpress? You should probably upgrade to Media Composer to run it on the MBP. They are offering the upgrade for $500 which is a steal considering they originally sold it for $3k.

    I would also get the matte screen on the MBP. I have a glossy and it drives me batty. Movies look good on it but, for everything else I do it's problematic.

    -mx
     
  14. MichaelCory thread starter macrumors newbie

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    eastern USA
    #14
  15. mithrilfox macrumors regular

    mithrilfox

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Japan
    #15
    Other than the card slot on the MBP, there's no reason to get one over an iMac. You can get more power and a much larger display for less.

    I too purchased a laptop, but went with the MacBook. Soon after I started getting involved in video editing, and boy was the MacBook insufficient for serious video editing with HD. And quite honestly, my MacBook remains quite stationary on my desk, so it seems silly to have purchased it instead of the only slightly more expensive iMac (and yet much more powerful).

    I think people are really over-estimating the value of the laptop. We talk about how portable, light, and relatively small it is, and yet I see so many people use their notebook computers just like a desktop; it sits on their desk and rarely, if ever, makes a move to anywhere else.

    Sure, desktops used to be a pain back in the day, with the tall bulky towers and cumbersomely huge and heavy CRTs. But now, with smaller towers and feather-weight displays, the added power and cheaper costs of desktops makes them very attractive.

    The iMac is especially nice, though I still yearn for the mid-range Mac tower that can be upgraded/expanded.
     
  16. motoxpress macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    #16
    Ah, well there ya go.

    If you have a need for portability then get the MBP. If not, then get the iMac.

    The lack of an expansion slot on the iMac is only a limitation for HD editing in terms of storage speed. With the MBP you can get eSata and get some really nice speeds. If you are only doing HDV then FW 800 will be plenty.

    -mx
     
  17. MichaelCory thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    eastern USA
    #17
    Although its more expensive...and slower than a 3.0ghz, I have to remember what Im using it for. The glossy screen will only confuse me later on when I have to look on multiple computers to make sure my color is correct on various designs. It is also questionable whether the Avid Software will even work on the 3.0ghz iMac. Im gonna go with the guarentee that the Macbook Pro will be supported for most of my applications. I appreciate everyone help and opinion as I think I finally made up my mind....Macbook Pro it is. thanx
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #18
    From my point of view, there are a few factors to consider:

    :apple: Performance: Performance differences between notebooks and desktops aren't as great as in years past. RAM is the great equalizer. A 2.5GHz MBP with 4GB RAM should easily outperform a 3.06GHz iMac with 2GB RAM. Since you can get 4GB on both, I doubt you'd notice the performance difference between 2.5GHz and 3.06GHz.

    :apple: Portability: While you said this isn't an important factor, there are times when this would come in handy. Even if most of your work is at the desk, as mine is, there will be times that you wished you could take your work with you. At the very least, if the building caught on fire (terrible thought, I know) it would be so easy to grab a MBP and get out.... an iMac wouldn't be quite so easy. The point is, I don't know of anyone with a MBP who ever wishes it WASN'T portable.

    :apple: Screen finish: I briefly considered an iMac after seeing them online... until I went to an Apple store and saw them in person. The glare on the glossy screen was extremely distracting, to say the least. That was a deal-killer for me. I'm in front of the screen 12-16 hours a day, and eye fatigue from the glare would be horrible. I would highly recommend the matte finish, even if color reproduction were the same.

    :apple: Screen size: I had someone recently ask me why I didn't go with the 17" MBP vs the 15.4". I told them I wanted the maximum performance in the most portable package. If lots of screen real estate is mission-critical, get an Apple 30" Cinema Display and plug your MBP into it when you're at the desk. The 2560x1600 resolution and matte finish of the 30" would make you want to drop-kick any iMac 24" with the glossy screen. If you can't afford the 30" now, you can pick up a 22" or greater widescreen display for $400 or less, in the interim. Or, just work from the MBP while you save up for the 30". In the end, you'd have a setup that you'd be happy with for years.

    :apple: Disc space: Yes, you can get a bigger hard drive on the iMac. But a MBP combined with an external hard drive makes more sense. First, the external drives are screaming fast, especially through the Firewire800 port. Second, while an external drive can supplement the MBP drive space, it also serves as a back-up, for when you take the MBP on the road. It can also be used to transfer large amounts of data from one computer to another.

    IMHO! Hope this helps!
     
  19. MichaelCory thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    eastern USA
    #19
    Thanks im feeling more confident about making this purchase with the help of this forum. Ill probably get the mbp this week online...

    any suggestion where and what RAM to pick up in terms of brand. I want 4gb but i dont want to spend that much on the ram when im sure there are other places to pick it up on the cheap.
     
  20. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #20
    when comparing a laptop to a desktop at these specs, its only really a question of if you want portability or a designated workstation
     
  21. rjp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #22
    Well, I have a new 15" MBP and I love the convienience of taking it with me out on the porch to surf and read my email. It is one nice machine.

    However, my friend has a 24" imac and the display on the imac is much nicer than the MBP imho. I have thoroughly tested the MBP display, but not the imac (I only looked at the imac). The MBP screen is decent, but does have a rather small color gamut (no deep colors possible), and a fairly limited viewing angle - but it's a notebook, so that''s ok. I only view if from a narrow angle anyhow. However, contrast ratio is good and color accuracy and saturation are very good as measured by EyeOne colorimeter at 6500K 2.2 gamma calibration. The glossy seems to be a little more accurate in actual testing that I did, so unless you are bothered by reflections I definitely suggest glossy over matte. The matte is quite good too, however. It's just that the matte surface adds a little distortion to the image. It's a trade-off each person has to make based on his own needs.

    The imac screen seems to have a better (wider) viewing angle, and will pop your eyeballs right out of their sockets with its resolution, clarity, and brightness. I have no idea if it is accurate though. But, wow! It sure is exciting to look at.

    Bottom line for me, you can't carry an imac around with you.
     
  22. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 17, 2008
    #23
    I love my MBP too! The display on the iMac APPEARS much nicer. I want to know what test you run that says the glossy is more accurate than the matte. Glossy screens do this: create more saturated colours, deeper blacks, brighter whites, and are sharper.
    However: Despite the perceived increase in the quality of glossy displays, they tend to exaggerate colors and shade, to the point in which they over-saturate and have poorer grayscale accuracy. This makes glossy displays unsuitable for people who seek to use their computers for graphics work which requires color accuracy. This is why detractors claim that glossy displays are used as a marketing gimmick.
    He can decide what he wants, and yes thats wiki info, not the best source...but they got a grasp on it.
     
  23. rjp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #24
    Test data

    I'm glad you asked what tests I ran. Too many people toss around opinion as fact and nobody calls them to task. I was researching glossy vs matte for some time and was frustrated that there was so much arguing over which was better but very little, if any, actual quantitative tests to back up these claims. So I decided to go make my own measurements and post the results to at least provide one data point for others in this situation to consider.

    Here is a link to another thread where I posted my measurements before and after calibration. This test compares a matte MBP against a glossy MBA. The store I performed the measurements in did not have a glossy MBP at the time. As you can see from the post calibration data, the grayscale accuracy is slightly better on the glossy screen as evidenced by the deltaE (grayscale color error) being slightly lower (better) over most of the luminance range. If you read a few posts later in the same thread you will see the saturation computations show that the glossy screen is not oversaturated as some like to claim either. Both screens are really excellent compared to other laptops I have measured (including 2 Dell Inspirons and the Macbook, which is poor compared to the MBP btw). Since this test I have calibrated and measured 3 more glossy MBPs and all differ a little in performance (contrast ratios and grayscale accuracy), so while the glossy MBA tested better in my original experiment, this very slight difference is probably just sample variation rather than due to the difference in screen treatments.

    Bottom line is the stories detractors tell about glossy being unsuitable for critical graphics, photo, or other color sensitive work due to either color inaccuracies or excessive saturation do not appear to have any basis in fact. Glossy may be bad because it doesn't look like paper, or because it shows destracting reflections, but not because it is any less accurate.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=5154999#post5154999
     

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